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#102634 - 06/29/06 12:27 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? ***** [Re: MarkSJohnson]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Thank you for the excellent review and recommendation, Mark.

I really enjoy Cullum's studio albums; the production is quite nice, and I rather like his voice, his style, and some of his compositions. There was a DirecTV special of one of his concerts a while back from a large, outdoor venue. I came away impressed, but not amazed. It would appear that he has turned himself up a notch, and that smaller venues are better for him.

Cullum seems to get a lot of crap from both the jazz and pop genres because he's not purely in either camp. I like his approach, and think the criticisms often border on snobbery for its own sake. To my eye, he has decent piano chops, a good ear for arranging, a pleasant if unspectacular voice and - most importantly - a fine sense of what it takes to be entertaining. I particularly like his fresh but respectful treatments of some standards. He's an engaging artist/entertainer, and I don't think he ever aspired to be the next Bill Evans.

Glad you enjoyed the show. You came away smiling, eh?
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#102635 - 06/29/06 01:39 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: tomtuttle]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11437
Loc: Central NH

You came away smiling, eh?

Actually, I came away quite annoyed. I think I'm becoming a curmudgeon and I'm "only" 43.

As I mentioned, it's a small theater, seats about 1,000 including the balcony. I was at the "X" at the bottom of the photo:

The opening act is cool, an up and coming 17 year old singer named Sonya Kitchell. I meet her later in the lobby, we talk a bit and she signs a CD for me.

I've got a perfect seat for Jamie. The sound is great, Jamie's piano is always stage left; I've got a perfect view. The waiting in line at the box office paid off! I'm really getting into his energy and the showmanship.

But, about half way through the show, some people start standing to the far left and far right of the stage. Each song, they move out a little further, and a few more people think "I should try to get up there too". In short, for the last 6-8 songs, including an incredible encore, it's wall-to-wall people standing in front of me (previously everyone had been mostly seated). I'm pissed. Back me up on this Jack: I have low tolerance for people who do things for themselves at the expense of others.

Now, I've gone to many "general admission" concerts and lots of clubs where the whole IDEA is that you stand in front of the stage…..along with everyone else. That's fine, it's cool. But this was seated admission tickets, and there were little kids, grandparents, and a few people in wheelchairs there with me. I felt as though the ushers should have stayed on top of it in the beginning, and because they didn't it just grew out of control over 15 minutes or so. A couple of ushers were standing in the aisle next to me, just joining the crowd. I asked who their boss was….. curmudgeon that I am.

After the concert, I looked for the head usher and found him, ready to rip him a new one for my missing the last 1/3 of the concert, partially due to a blocked view and partially because I was just getting so pissed that I wasn't even paying attention to the show.

Well, it ends up that the decision was Jamie Cullums'. The usher explained that they follow the desires of the artist, and in this case, some people were told it would be OK to go up to the stage, as others would follow and Jaime likes the "rock concert feel" over people just staying in their seats. It's also why there were a good number of people taking pictures, despite the tix reading "No Cameras or recording devices allowed". He doesn't mind.

I didn't mind the crowd so much when I knew it was "allowed" as opposed to it just happening because people were jerks and the usher's didn't do their jobs. But I was still annoyed that the last 1/3 of the concert I was too distracted to enjoy the show…. And that being a photographer, and having just bought a nice 400mm lens the week before, had I KNOWN that photos were OK as opposed to the standard boilerplate crap printed on the ticket, I would have brought a REAL freakin' camera and could have gotten some great shots!

The performance was great but, no…. I didn't walk out of there with a smile. I wish I had known the rules before I went in. Betcha the people in wheelchairs did too. I walked out of there wanting to punch someone.

Sorry you asked???
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

#102636 - 06/29/06 03:41 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Rock_Head Online   content

Registered: 10/10/04
Posts: 905
Loc: Delta, BC, Canada
Reminds me of the Coldplay concert my wife and I attended. We had fantastic seats however we were standing for most of the concert. My wife wasn't too impressed being 5'-1" tall and trying to peek around people in front to see the stage. Then to make matters worse, some drunken clown in front of us tried to sing along with some the songs until a few people told him to shut the %$&* up. Anyhow, next up is Peter Frampton in a 1,000 seat venue (row 4, center stage).

#102637 - 06/29/06 08:06 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: Rock_Head]
Jordan Offline

Registered: 03/29/06
Posts: 172
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Yeah, totally. That reminds me of the time that I saw Radiohead play at L'Arena di Verona in Italy and there was like, a perfectly clear view of the performers and this beautiful and historic venue with this terrible 30 degree summer weather around us without a cloud in the sky and all these annoying stars at night - not to mention all the wonderful Italian people who shared massive jugs of wine with us.

No wait, that's nothing at all the same. Forget I said anything.

All the best,


#102638 - 06/29/06 10:03 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Yeah, kind of

Apparently, our views of Mr. Cullum's demographic differ from his.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#102639 - 06/29/06 10:22 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: tomtuttle]
littleb Offline

Registered: 08/03/03
Posts: 1235
Loc: Moorhead, Minnesota/US
Right now I'm listening to the Supremes on a 30 year old turntable with a brand new belt. OK, I'll admit I've been spending a little time over at classmates and found a really old neighbor. That could have something to do with the music I've been listening to lately. I seem to be stuck in oldies mode. I've got to get me some Temptations and Four Tops scratchy vinyl. . .and Wilson Pickett. Ah, nostalgia.

#102640 - 06/29/06 10:48 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: littleb]
moridin Offline

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 50
Just finished a performance by BBC Wales of Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz. Not only is the imaging so perfect I can close my eyes and visualize all the instruments in their correct positions, but during the quiet passages I could even hear the sharper inhalations of breath from the conductor! That's the sort of thing that really brings back memories of my days performing onstage. Quite nice.

Now I think I'll start Mahler's Titan, New York Phil under Kurt Masur. To me, this is a piece that truly defines the visceral emotional communication possible by music. I remember reading many years ago a short letter written by Arnold Schoenberg to Gustav after he first heard Mahler's first symphony. Working from memory, the translation would go something along the lines of

I felt it as an event of nature. It was revealed to me as a secret country of eerie chasms, and abysses, and haunts of idyllic repose. I shared in the battling for illusion. I felt the forces of good and evil wrestling with one another. I felt a soul in torment, struggling toward inward harmony. I divined the most uncompromising truthfulness.

Listening to that should make for a sublime ending to a truly lovely day.

I'm hoping that the feeling of bliss I've been experiencing since I received my Axioms lasts for quite a long time.

#102641 - 06/29/06 11:59 PM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: moridin]
Ajax Offline

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6331
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Really enjoy reading posts like yours cuz it's all about the music rather than the equipment. Thanks for sharing.

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

#102642 - 06/30/06 12:07 AM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: Ajax]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13571
Loc: Iowa
I thought it was all about test tones, calibration, and graphing room response. Man, no wonder this hobby is stressing me out.
Anthem AVM60 Outlaw 7700 Emotiva A500 Epson 5040UB

#102643 - 06/30/06 12:31 AM Re: So what are ya listening to tonight? [Re: moridin]
St_PatGuy Offline

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7463
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Jack summed it up nice. Sometimes it seems people in this hobby forget about the music.

Thanks for sharing. You make me want to check that piece out now. My taste for classical music is growing in leaps and bounds. I find it so soothing to listen to on the drive home from work.
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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